Web Search & Marketing Newsletter - December 2015
Welcome to the latest issue of our monthly newsletter, featuring news, tips and advice on effective website marketing, with a particular focus on search marketing techniques and trends.
In the first article this month we look at Google's recent update to its Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool in AdWords and its decision, due to popular demand, to retain the version of the tool that's available to everyone.
We also look at the radical changes to the new version of Google+ and how reviews will be removed from the G+ Local pages, but will remain in the Search and Maps results. This is a relief to Local SEO practitioners and businesses that source numerous visits to their sites from positive reviews.
Finally this month, we look at the latest online advertising expenditure report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Australia. This highlights that online advertising expenditure in Australia increased to over $5bn in the last financial year and the rapidly increasing importance of mobiles in digital advertising campaigns.
On to this month's edition...
AdWords Preview Tool's New Look
Google has always provided a useful advert preview and diagnosis tool to help advertisers view AdWords ads and the interface has recently been given a new look. This is a valuable tool in the AdWords account and has a number of advantages when reviewing the search results, both for paid ads and also for SEO rankings.
The AdWords Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool is available in the Tools menu when logged into an AdWords account. For advertisers, this is useful to help identify why an advert might not be appearing, or to check that the correct ad is showing from the right adgroup. It shows a preview of a Google search result page for a specific term and for a selected location so that advertisers can check which ads are appearing and in what position, without the influence of any historical or personalisation factors.
The tool allows you to see the exact same results as a Google search, without affecting your ad performance by generating additional impressions, and the results displayed can't be clicked, as they are simply an image of how the results would be appearing to most searchers at that time.
By changing the version of Google and the user location, the results can also replicate how people in other locations or countries could see the search results, which would be very difficult to replicate in the main Google search interface.
In mid November, Google quietly updated the tool within AdWords and the new interface now embeds a Chrome-like browser directly into it, as opposed to having it open in its own sub-browser. The new interface makes the tool feel more part of the AdWords portal and makes things a bit more compact and cleaner by keeping the user within the overall experience of AdWords.
Google also recently announced that, after hearing feedback from its advertisers, they decided to keep the 'logged-out' version of the tool as well, so that anyone can use this, whether or not they have an AdWords account - although the full benefit comes from being logged into AdWords at the same time.
You can view the logged-out version of the tool, here.
If you would like more information about how the Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool can be used, and how it could benefit your AdWords campaigns, please contact us now.
Reviews Disappear From Google+ Local Listings
Google recently introduced the new Google+ design and announced that reviews are being removed from the Google+ Local listings. This news initially alarmed local SEOs and businesses that rely upon those reviews to attract regional traffic, although Google has fortunately alleviated those concerns - for now - by stating that reviews are still accessible on Google Search and Maps (which have always been the primary way that users find business reviews).
The removal of the G+ Local page that was integrated with the Google My Business listing is seen by many as a move in the right direction, as having so many interlinked G+ products only led to confusion for many users. So the news that the reviews will still be shown on Search and Maps (as well as the Local Finder and the Knowledge Graph) means that the removal of those from just G+ Local will not be a large concern for local SEO, thankfully, as numerous good reviews can be effective at generating traffic.
Google is being positive about the imminent demise of G+, which appears to be another failed attempt to take on Facebook in the social media field. Google states that due to feedback from users, there were two features they kept coming back to: Communities (which now average 1.2 million new joins per day), and Collections (which launched just five months ago and is growing even faster). Therefore the new and fully redesigned Google+ focuses upon interests in the form of those Communities and Collections.
Google+ was always un-intuitive to use, so it's a wise move that the new G+ is much simpler, although this could also mean that its value and usage declines as well. It's also more mobile-friendly and cross—platform compatible as it's been rebuilt across web, Android and iOS so that users now have a fast and consistent experience, whether viewing it on either a big or small screen.
If you would like to know more about how the removal of reviews from G+ Local listings could impact your business, contact us now for more details.
Online advertising expenditure in Australia increases to over $5bn
In the latest report for the full financial year ending June 30th 2015, IAB Australia stated that the Australian online advertising market has delivered record revenues, growing by 19.8% or $870.2m from the financial year 2014, to reach $5.3bn. This marks another significant year of growth and emphasises the importance of digital marketing for many companies.
The data, which comes from the latest IAB/PWC Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER) shows that all online advertising segments experienced double digit growth in the 2014-15 financial year, with General Display and Classifieds leading the growth at 35% and 23% respectively. In the twelve month period ended 30 June 2015, there was a notable shift in expenditure across sectors with General Display achieving its highest share of overall annual expenditure (33%), mostly due to the rapid growth in mobile and video advertising. Classifieds share of online advertising expenditure remained reasonably steady year on year (19%) and the growth of Search and Directories softened (48%) but still represents nearly half of all online advertising spend.
Mobile advertising saw a significant increase in spend, up by 84% to reach $1.1bn for the full financial year 2015, with Display advertising becoming the dominant advertising category for mobile in the June quarter of 2015. This is a significant increase and the device category share for the quarter ending June 2015 showed smartphones increasing its share of mobile advertising at 66% for the year and tablets at 34%. This represents an increase in smartphones share of mobile advertising over time and emphasises their rapidly growing importance in online advertising.
Video advertising also saw rapid growth, up by 98% year on year to reach $389m for the full financial year 2015. It now makes up 16% of all General Display advertising expenditure, up from 14% the previous year. FMCG, retail and motor vehicles were the top three dominant industry categories for video advertising, representing 36% of the reported video display advertising market. FMCG is now overly represented in Video Display compared to General Display, with a 15% share, almost three times higher than its share in total General Display.
You can read more about the latest IAB report here.
If you would like more information on how these figures can be used to improve your online marketing, please contact us now.
We hope you've found this month's newsletter useful. Please contact us if you need any more information on the items covered, or our advice on any aspect of your website's performance. Also, if there are any issues you would like to see in future editions of this newsletter, please submit your suggestions to us.
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